Tuesday 23 April 2013

Risotto with St George's Mushrooms and Asparagus Recipe for St George's Day

As today, April 23rd is St George's day, the national day of England, I have a special extra recipe using that wild food which is synonymous with St George's day, the St George's Mushroom.

St George's mushroom, button and open cap, top, image of gills, bottom
St George's Mushroom. Top image
shows button form and open cap
bottom image shows the pale gills
and underside.
The St George's mushroom is a classic wild field mushroom that is so named because it's one of the earliest fruiting of the spring mushrooms. Typically it can be gathered around St George's day. Now, also, is the time for the first of the spring asparagus. So I decided to adapt the Risotto of Asparagus and St George's Mushroom recipe from the Celtnet Recipes Wild Food recipe collection.

But if you don't want to go out foraging for wild mushrooms today (or ever!) don't worry, this recipe works just as well with white mushrooms or with chestnut mushrooms. The textures are virtually identical and the flavours are similar.

It's just that the combination of the wild and the farmed in this risotto recipe is so wonderful, and there is also the link with St George's day

So here is my recipe for this special saint's day.

A happy St George's day to you all and I hope that you enjoy this recipe prepared especially for the saint's day.

Risotto with St George's Mushrooms and Asparagus

Serves: 6
Classic risotto of St George's Mushroom and asparagus served in a blue blow garnished with a sprig of thyme
Classic risotto of St George's Mushroom and Asparagus,
perfect for St George's Day. Image courtesy of Celtnet Recipes.


1kg (2 lbs) young (ie fine-stemmed) asparagus
300g (2/3 lb) St George's mushrooms, sliced
4 large shallots, chopped
30ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
350g (13 oz) risotto rice (eg carnaroli rice or Arborio rice)
1.25l (5 cups) hot vegetable stock
60g (2 oz) freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
90g (3 oz) butter
2 tbsp double cream
1 tbsp chopped parsley
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste


Trim any woody or dry ends from the asparagus and trim into 8cm (3 in) lengths. Plunge into boiling lightly-salted water and drain after 3 minutes. Remove any dirt from the mushrooms and trim if necessary and slice (halve any small ones).

Add 30g (1 oz) of the butter to a pan and use this to fry the mushrooms for about 3 minutes then set aside. Add the olive oil to a large heavy-bottomed pan and use this to fry the shallots for a few minutes, until just soft. Add the rice and stir to coat with the oil. Gradually add the stock one ladle at a time, stirring constantly to ensure that each ladleful has been absorbed before you add the next ladleful.

When the rice is almost done add the asparagus and mushrooms then stir-in the Parmesan cheese before adding a little more stock. Stir to combine and when the liquid has almost gone stir-in the butter, double cream and parsley.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

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